Titan Quest - PC - Review
You know, I was just sitting around the house the other day thinking to myself … “Self, what the world needs now is another Diablo clone.” Well, lo and behold I received Titan Quest to review, and all was good. After playing it for a while, I can still say that it’s all good for the most part, but it may not appeal to all of you RPG fans out there.
Titan Quest, written by Brian Sullivan (one of the geniuses behind Age of Empires) and Braveheart writer Randall Wallace, launches the hero (insert your name here) into a fantasy world where the mythical Titans have been released from the prisons that Zeus confined them to and are swearing to unleash havoc on the world. As a result, the monsters of the ancient world are going crazy and attacking villages, etc., and it’s your job to kill umpteen thousand of them in your journey to restore peace to the world once more.
As RPG games go, there’s a lot of familiarity that players will have up front. In the beginning, you make a character (basically male or female with your choice of clothing color) and head out into the world. You will get to choose from one of eight different character classes, four emphasizing combat and four casting, but this won’t come in until a little after you begin, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. In addition, each has a skill tree that you utilize in order to add more abilities, spells, etc. as you level up in the game, and the premise is very similar to games like Diablo … kill monsters, gain experience, complete quests (both main and a number of side quests), gain experience, pick up loot dropped or found until your inventory fills up and then head to the nearest town to sell it and make money to buy more stuff.
Now, there are a couple of differences in Titan Quest that help the game stand out and give you something a little different than just playing an updated version of a classic game. For starters, the amount of character customization is really good. Outside of changing looks when you change out armor, weapons, etc., you can pretty much make any type of character you wish. In addition, you will also find runes along the way that add bonuses to weapons and armor, and you can use them as you see fit to modify and upgrade your stuff. These come in great in a pinch to better your current equipment without having to spend a fortune on magically imbued stuff.
Another neat addition to the game was the creator package that is included, and allows you to sit and design your own Titan Quest fantasy settings for both you and/or a group of friends to play with online. There’s a lot to see and do with it, and it can be a little intimidating, but it definitely helps add a little more to the game and gives you something to play around with if you get tired of playing the main game or just start feeling creative.
Outside of these things, there are a couple of issues in the game that a lot of you RPGers out there may not find quiet as exciting. For starters, the game itself just doesn’t seem to have a deep storyline to it, which was surprising to me considering the names involved in the writing. Oh sure, there is a story there, but it really doesn’t seem to stand out while you’re playing since the game is constant hack and slash. The NPC characters that you meet aren’t very exciting, and while voice acting isn’t terrible, it’s not outstanding either and I wound up skipping most of what they were saying just to head out and kill more stuff, while simply taking a look at my quest log to see what I had to do next.
Secondly, the game does have a save anywhere feature, but it actually only seems to save your quests and characters versus saving the entire world around you. When you pop back into the game, you start at whatever the last “resurrection fountain” is that you ran across (these are scattered around and when you touch them they serve as respawn points) and in addition all of the monsters that you plowed through to get there will be back up and running. This isn’t a bad thing for simply leveling up reasons, but if you have to backtrack for part of the story or something forgotten, it can be a bit of a pain.
Lastly, the most glaring issue that may come up and bite you is just the sheer repetitiveness of the game overall. As stated, the story just really seems clichéd to a point and isn’t really enough to sink your teeth into, so what you get left with is a game that emphasizes clicking the heck out of your mouse button and just killing droves of enemies over and over and over again simply to try and get better weapons, items, or armor. Personally, I enjoy these types of games, but this may not be enough for the long-term story player to remain interested and hang on until the bitter end.
Overall, Titan Quest has its issues, but I am still enjoying the heck out of it. For those of you looking for a good hack-and-slash title with a lot of customization and action both online and off, this is a great game that will keep you going for a while. For those of you that need something a little deeper to get absorbed into, making your own levels can be fun and can help you make your own stories, but you may want to wait until this one goes down in price or try adventuring elsewhere.
Review Scoring Details for Titan Quest
Titan Quest offers a ton of customization and action, and there’s thousands of monster piles to crash into and dispatch. The game’s story is a little less than exciting, however, and the game at its core comes down to tons of hacking and slashing while moving from one part of the story to the next.
The graphics to Titan Quest are really great, even on a PC like mine that really needs to be upgraded (and was run on the lowest settings). Grass bends and sways when you move through it or a gentle breeze blows through, the lighting and spell effects are awesome, and the characters and monsters move and act pretty realistic (except for a flying rag doll corpse every now and then). Overall it looks superb.
The music tracks sounded good overall, and will change when the action picks up. The voiceovers were decent but somewhat uninteresting, and the battle sounds, monster growls and screams, and environmental noises were good as well.
As with most games like this, caution must be used in many circumstances in order to avoid getting killed quickly by a horde of satyrs or other mythological beasts, but the game mechanics are easy to get into. There are also two additional unlockable difficulty levels to increase the challenge.
The game is addicting as heck, and offers up some unique things to make it stand out. When you strip everything down to basics though, it becomes a game that feels like a very familiar “been here done this before” with a couple of add ons.
As with most hack-and-slash style RPGs, playing with a group of other players online makes it a heck of a lot more fun. You can jump in with up to five other players online, but interestingly enough since you can join a game in progress at any time, you can get online and literally never bump into another player.
Overall, Titan Quest is a game that will offer enjoyment to RPG players even if you don’t stick in for the long haul. The game is addicting to me personally, and the hack-and-slash style is something I’ve always enjoyed going back to Diablo days. If that type of style appeals to you, then get this game. If you need something a little deeper in story with your hacking action, then you may want to hold off on this one or see about picking it up used.